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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Daddy's Home!

Two weeks without Daddy is a LONG time! For Eden and for me. She would go over to our bedroom door after she and I had been up and about for a little while and knock on the door and say, "Daddy?" looking for him. If we went into the room, she thought he'd either be in the bed or in the closet and she'd go looking. It was cute, but made my heart sad knowing that she wasn't going to find him. She was more than excited when she saw him last night at the airport - she was running in circles!

I haven't really said much about where Lane was going or how long he was gone, but that's because a)I didn't want to tell the WHOLE world that Eden and I were home alone and b)he was at a training that I still don't - and never will - know much about. He was at SERE school out in San Diego. SERE stands for survival, evasion, resistance, and escape. From those 4 words you can tell that it doesn't sound like a place you want to be! The Marine Corps website sums it up pretty well - better than I could - so read here what Lane was going through:
The...course is broken down into three phases: classroom instruction, survival and evasion.
During the first...days, Marines are put in a classroom environment where the instructors teach them the basics of survival. They are taught how to identify and catch food, build tools, start fires and construct shelter.
The survival phase takes place...where the Marines put the training they received to use by surviving on their own with nothing but a knife, a canteen and the camouflage utility uniforms on their backs.
The last phase of the course...the Marines are broken into teams... The teams must stay on the move through the muddy and tangled jungle to avoid being captured.
“We’ve built our own POW (prisoner of war) camp where we stick the students if they are captured,” Thomas said. “They’re forced to wear the POW uniforms we made and the instructors interrogate and attempt to pry information from them to test their resistance level.”
During their time in the POW camp, Marines are subjected to forced labor such as digging trenches, filling sandbags and cutting wood. They are also put in a small three-foot squared cube-like cell where they are tempted with food to give up information.
While evading capture, the Marines are given free range to move anywhere they like within...training grounds. When evening draws near, they are instructed to find a “safe zone” where the captors are not allowed to enter. If able to reach the safe zone, the students can get five to six hours of sleep per night. If they do not find the zone, they are still subject to capture and may only receive a few hours of sleep if any at all.
The average student losses between 12-15 pounds while going through the course. During their time in the field they must rely on the nutrition given to them through natural food sources...such as snakes, insects, fish and plant roots.
Students participating learn to get through the torment of starvation and weariness by staying motivated and appreciating what they are going through.

So there you have it, something that I hope to NEVER have to go through and am glad Lane made it out of there. Does he want to talk about it? Of course not, who would! I'm sure he's just happy to be home and in a warm bed again. He did lose the "normal" 15 pounds and was more excited about food than he was sleep when they were on their way back to their hotels after their field-work. Just one more thing for me to be super proud of my husband!

After all of that he made it home from California last night and it was almost a total bust. He originally had a 3 hour layover in Dallas, but because of his first flight being delayed so much and then having to travel the length of the airport to get to his second flight, they had already closed the gate on him and the other Marine, Bill, that flew out to California with him for SERE school. They were walking away from the gate to head to the USO counter to try to find another way home since they had missed their flights. As they were walking away the person at the gate called them back and said they were going to open the gate for him and Bill and they were able to fly home and get here on time! Thank goodness the plane had a screw loose {not even kidding} so they would let him come home to us - I had been promising Eden all day that at night night time she would see Daddy!

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